Major Baltimore bridge collapses after being hit by ship

A bridge in Baltimore has collapsed after being struck by a large containership, local authorities say. The bridge’s collapse has prompted huge emergency response, with the Baltimore authorities describing the collapse as a mass-casualty incident. Maryland Governor Wes Moore has declared a state of emergency.

The Maryland Transportation Authority confirmed an incident mentioning a “I-695 Key bridge collapse.”

“All lanes closed both directions for incident on I-695 Key Bridge. Traffic is being detoured. I-695 Key Bridge collapse after ship strike. Harbor crossings alternate routes will be I-95 or I-895 tunnels,” the authority said in a statement in the social media.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott says he is aware of the incident at the Francis Scott Key bridge in the city, and is in contact with local authorities.

Scott says: “I’m aware of and en route to the incident at the Key Bridge… Emergency personnel are on scene, and efforts are underway.”

The US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has just released the following statement, in which says he is offering his department’s support to the local authorities.

“I’ve spoken with Governor Moore and Mayor Scott to offer USDOT’s support following the vessel strike and collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge.

“Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response.”

Governor of the state of Maryland, Wes Moore, said in a statement that he has declared a state of emergency.

“I have declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and we are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration,” he said in a statement posted to X.

“My office is in close communication with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore Mayor B M Scott, BaltCoExec, and Baltimore Fire as emergency personnel are on the scene following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

“We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.

“We will remain in close contact with federal, state, and local entities that are carrying out rescue efforts as we continue to assess and respond to this tragedy,” the Governor said.

The bridge’s collapse, which came after it was struck by a ship, was distributed on social media.

As it is reported by shipping claims specialist WK Webster:

It has been reported overnight that large container ship, DALI (IMO: 9697428) with a GT of 95,128, allided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge crossing the Patapsco River, Baltimore, USA at approximately 01.30 hours (local time) on 26 March 2024, WK Webster said.